Seasoning Bok Choy


Bok choy, also called Chinese white cabbage or pak choi, is a mainstay of Chinese cuisine. But it works well with many other seasonings, because both the stalks and the leaves are mild. Choose full-size or baby bok choy with bright green leaves and no wilting or yellow spots. Refrigerate it in an airtight container, and use it within four days in stir-fry or solo. Avoid overcooking bok choy or it will become bitter.

Chinese-Inspired Flavors

  • For a Chinese stir-fry, pair bok choy with chicken, pork or tofu, and season it with minced garlic, fresh grated ginger, a dash of rice wine and a teaspoon of honey. Cooked on its own as a braised, vegetable side dish, Chinese seasonings might include a drizzle of oyster sauce, soy sauce, red pepper flakes or sesame oil and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.

Everything's Better With Butter and Cheese

  • Salt, pepper and a pat of butter give steamed bok choy all it needs for a simple but flavorful side dish -- the light seasonings don't overpower bok choy's mild flavor. If you want to dress up the dish, turn it into a gratin by seasoning it with a little nutmeg, sprinkling a handful of grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese over the top and placing it under the broiler until the cheese bubbles and browns.

Seasoning With Herbs

  • You don't need to limit yourself to Asian seasonings for bok choy. Give braised, blanched or stir-fried side dishes a French twist by seasoning with butter, salt, pepper, rosemary and tarragon. Or drizzle cooked bok choy with rice or balsamic vinegar, dry sherry or lemon juice. For extra flavor, sprinkle a small amount of coriander, bacon bits or small bits of sun-dried tomatoes over the finished dish.

Bold Seasonings for Cool Bok Choy

  • You can season bok choy served at room temperature or as a salad in many of the same ways you would any salad or warm vegetable dish. A vinaigrette with lemon juice and Dijon mustard would work, as would Thai-inspired seasonings such as Thai chili strands, sliced fresh mint and basil, toasted sesame seeds and rice or white wine vinegar. Miso paste added to a salad dressing adds a Japanese or Chinese flavor.

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